Recovery Day in Winnipeg returns to in-person format at The Forks

Recovery Day is returning to The Forks in Winnipeg Saturday, in person for the first time in two years.

The event is usually held in person with many different speakers but in 2019 it shifted to a virtual event due to the COVID pandemic.

It is a national movement committed to mobilizing and organizing Canadians in recovery from addiction and addiction-related problems.

The mission is to build awareness, challenge societal stigma and celebrate the role that recovery plays in improving life for individuals, families, communities, cities, and countries.

“The more people talk about it in the community the more aware people are,” said Rod Bautista, a Winnipeg father.

“There’s still a lot of work to do but everything around the conversation, it’s a positive conversation.”

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Bautista, who lost his son Gabriel to addiction and depression four years ago, shares his son’s story in hopes of helping others and decrease stigma.

“The more stories are told, the more people get connected,” he said. “Not only to the cause and to the issue but to other people and I think that’s really at the very base level, what really makes a difference in society.”

This year’s entertainment will be provided by rock band Space Case; Métis Winnipeg singer/songwriter Brandi Vezina; and Violet Vopni — an Indigenous and Icelandic singer/songwriter from Manitoba.

Additionally, the School of Aboriginal Dance and the Walking Wolf Dancers & Singers, will perform traditional Aboriginal dances, sharing with audiences the stories and meanings behind them.

Some of the speakers at the event will include actor, rapper, and fitness entrepreneur Chet Hanks, who is the son of Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

Attendees will also see Canada’s Drag Race performers Juice Boxx, BOA and Kendall Gender, and award-winning actor Tony Denison, best known for his role on The Closer.

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